Concerns were raised last night over plans by an extreme Muslim anti-Israel group to hold a meeting in Wembley this weekend, writes Stephen Oryszczuk.
The Board of Deputies said it had given police a dossier on Hizb ut-Tahrir, an organisation that calls for the destruction of Israel and the creation of a sharia state in Britain.
The group plans to hold its Khilafah Conference on Sunday. As Jewish community leaders upped the rhetoric, activists called on the Board of Deputies to “squash the group at a political level,” while experts warned of potential trouble ahead on the streets.
Haras Rafiq of the Quilliam Foundation said the conference “will further add fuel to the fire” and Mark Gardner, director of the Community Security Trust, said it was “very disturbing to see such a group have an event of this scale”.
Ironically, the Wembley assembly has been scheduled for the same day that up to 1,000 Jewish supporters are due to rally outside the Royal Courts of Justice in a protest organised by the Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Board of Deputies’ vice president Jonathan Arkush confirmed “concerns about their tendency towards extremism,” adding that there were ongoing efforts to have the group proscribed.
David Cameron’s Conservative Party has so far failed to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir when in power, despite promises to do so. The 2010 Tory manifesto says: “A Conservative government will ban any organisations which advocate hate or the violent overthrow of our society, such as Hizb ut-Tahrir.”
One senior Jewish source said the group was “always careful never to cross the line”. Likewise, Gardner admitted that “the UK branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir has learned to temper its more outrageous language and actions”.
Lord Carlile, the government’s former counter-terrorism adviser, previously said: “I don’t think anything will happen… I think the general view is that Hizb ut-Tahrir are best dealt with in public debate rather than by proscription.”